Since my children were born I have read them bedtime stories almost every night. It was just a natural thing for me since my mum did the same for me and my brothers and sisters when I was a child. After dinner, we would brush our teeth, go to the bathroom, and jump into bed with our favourite fairy tales waiting for mum to come tuck us in and read us a story before we went to sleep.
It seems now that it’s not so much of a thing since there are so many “other” things to do. There is so much new technology out there that children are usually watching T.V or playing with Ipads or computer games and falling asleep to them. Bedtime stories for a lot of families are a thing of the past but parents need to remember the importance of them.
They help set a routine
After a long day playing, running around and using energy children need to wind down. Putting them to bed and expecting them to fall asleep right away can be quite difficult but having a bedtime routine where you read a story together can help them calm down, relax, and reduce their stress levels which will help them to sleep better.
They Help you Bond with your Child
When you spend time with your child reading, it helps create a special bond between you. When you are cuddled up together and you are reading to your child and they respond back to you, you can interact and engage in conversations that you may not otherwise have.
Learning New Words
What better way to help your child learn new words than to read them bedtime stories each night. Books can introduce new words that are not in their direct environment, therefore they may not hear them every day. Reading stories can enhance their vocabulary and improve their language skills. Children remember stories, so they will also remember the words that have been read to them.
Creating a Reading Habit
Reading is an important skill in life, and the sooner your child gets into a routine of reading every day the better. Reading bedtime stories every night can create a love for books and a love for reading which can then help them later in life.
Increases a child’s Imagination
Reading stories to your children helps develop their imagination. By listening to the story and looking at the pictures their little brains receive so many ideas, and they are able to predict what is going to happen next or come up with their own endings.
Imagination helps to create and to dream. Albert Einstein once said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world”
A love of reading is one of the best gifts you can give your children. There are so many benefits to reading bedtime stories that can go on for years. I intend to read to my children until they are eventually able to read to themselves and hopefully the love of bedtime stories they have now continues well into their teenage years where they can enjoy reading before bedtime by themselves.